Strategies for Coaching Soccer, especially when dealing with various personality styles

A significant soccer coaching strategy regarding how to get each member of the soccer team to play soccer at their optimal level. If a soccer coach can teach each individual soccer player on their team to perform at their best level and they can get each individual on their sports team to work well together; then they will begin to see very positive workout routines and become more successful at having a winning soccer team. If you coach soccer youth, you probably understand that just getting each soccer player to be where they are supposed to be at the right time alone is a challenge. Your coaching style may be more effective if you understand and consider that each soccer player will likely be motivated positively by different stimuli. Once you discover how to teach each athlete to want to perform well. That will be when you will really see results and be glad you are involved with coaching team sports.

It is important for soccer coaches to understand that different people have different reasons for being a member of a sports team. Some are natural athletes who are doing one of the things they do well. Most people enjoy doing things that come easily for them. Some are naturally competitive and want to have many opportunities to win. Some love to be in the spotlight. This is an opportunity for them to be in front of an audience. Some are natural born leaders and actively seek out groups they think they can be in charge of. They may try to boss the other team members around and may not be received well. If your team is already enjoying a winning streak, it may attract members who want to ride the coattails of other people’s success. Some enjoy the companionship they receive from the other team mates. They are only on the team because they want to gain friends and popularity. Some are on the team because someone else talked them into it (a parent, a parent’s friend, a relative, a friend, etc.). Some are trying to outperform a sibling or friend. Some are on the team because they have a sibling who is on a sports team and they think being an athlete is what is expected of them. Some are extremely self-conscious about their physical appearance and physical fitness level. They want to maintain a lean and fit body as long as they possibly can. They think being on a sports team or involved in a regular exercise program will help them accomplish that goal. Some are prone to peer pressure and have a tendency to do whatever their friends do. They may be copying the diet program and workout routine what one of their friends or some of their friends are doing. They may think exercising with the soccer team, for example, will make them popular. Some may have an unhappy homelife and are trying to avoid going home by participating in team sports.

A coach who tries to motivate each member on the team the same way will probably not enjoy as much success as a coach who is good at figuring out what motivates each member of the team and coaching each individual accordingly. Some team members may have grown up in an environment where there were raised voices and lost tempers surrounding them frequently. They may have developed coping skills over the years or they may think that kind of behavior is normal and acceptable. If you try to motivate this person by yelling at them and losing your temper with them; you may get positive results or you may not get positive results. Some people aren’t motivated to do much of anything until someone forces them to start performing. Some individuals don’t respond well to hints and gentle nudges. Those individuals may need to here a loud voice. Be very careful with yelling and temper tantrums, however. Some people do seek revenge. Some people may get mad at you every time you yell at them or irritate them in some way. They may bottle up all of their anger and let it accumulate. They may never release that bottled up hostility on you. You may never even know they are angry at you. If they let their anger accumulate and never get those issues resolved, they could very likely develop poor health and/or they may overreact and explode unexpectedly on someone else one day. They may also reach a point in their life when they start dumping their anger on other people a little bit at a time, all of the time. Bad relationships and bad health very often stem from an accumulation of unresolved issues. People need to be heard, get things off their chest and have closure to disagreements in order to be able to move on and stop dwelling on topics they are angry about. Sometimes healing from a situation that has caused someone to harbor a tremendous amount of anger involves talking to someone who is a good listener about everything they are angry about. The healing process can be helped by doing extensive reading of self-help books and trying to understand the viewpoint of the person who has angered them. Sometimes healing requires that the angered person writes down all of the things they are angry about in the form of a letter to the person who has exasperated them, but never sending the letter. Regardless, of what the remedy is, the person who is dwelling on past issues, will not be able to perform to the best of their abilities or be a happy person unless they are able to resolve their frustrations. If you try to yell at and lose your temper with a shy and introverted member of the team who grew up in an environment where yelling and temper tantrums were freakish occurances, you may motivate that individual to shake, cry and not even be able to stand up, let alone perform optimally.

Effective coaching requires effective communication. It is important for a coach to communicate well with each team member and attempt to understand what will motivate that person. Effective communication with each team member will not only help you get to know each member’s personality; it may also help you discover if any of your team members aren’t getting enough sleep, have too much stress in their lives, are too busy, have too many responsiblities, have an improper diet or simply need personal attention to let them know someone cares about them and wants to help them succeed. Realize, that some of the team members may have parents who are too busy to pay attention to what their children are doing. Some of their parents may never show up to see their child perform. Some of their parents lives may revolve soley around whether or not their child or children appear(s) to be successful or is/are winning. This situation can definitely put too much pressure on the child/children. It is important for coaches to understand that some people simply don’t feel comfortable around certain personality types and if you discover this situation is the case with 2 or more members of your team. You may benefit from keeping those team members away from each other. There are times when different personality types clash dramatically and there will be nothing you will be able to do to make those individuals feel comfortable around each other. You will be better off if you don’t force those personalities to work together, let them stay away from each other. Some people are positively motivated when they are working or exercising with a certain person or with certain people. Pairing up 2 team members who work well together, or a group of people who work well together, can be a very wise strategy for a coach to use. One of the major strategies coaches can use to help them enjoy success of their team is to search for ways to motivate each individual team member. Some will respond well to compliments. Some will respond well to being reminded to do this or that. Some will respond well to working closely with another athlete who is currently enjoying a little more success then they are. Some will respond well to learning more about how diet, rest, minimizing stress, etc. affect their perfomance levels. It is important for coaches to be ready to try new coaching styles when they discover something they are doing is not getting them positive results. Soccer coaches who understand what their athletes need to do physically regarding their exercise program to achieve excellent performances, will very likely enjoy much success. Soccer Coaches who also understand the emotional aspects of motivating human beings to accomplish things will very likely enjoy even greater success. Anyone, whether they are a Soccer Coach, or someone who is not involved with athletes at all, who master’s knowing how to motivate different individuals by appealing to their emotional wants and needs, will likely be very successful with many aspects of their life. Developing this skill can not only help soccer coaches improve the value of their team sports endeavors; it can also assist them with knowing how to motivate individuals positively who are within their families, circle of friends or people who they interact with in the business world. Consequently, this effective soccer coaching strategy can help soccer coaches improve their lives in many ways.

Written by: Dawn Perucca,


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